Katherine Heigl Returning to Grey’s Anatomy
06/19/2009 AT 12:00 AM EDT
A rep for ABC confirms to PEOPLE that Heigl, who plays Dr. Izzie Stephens, isn't leaving the show despite speculation that she was ready to go to focus on her movie career. The rep also confirmed that Jessica Capshaw, who plays Dr. Arizona Robbins, will return to the show as a series regular.
Show writers left Heigl's character in a precarious position at the end of last season. After surviving surgery for her brain tumor, Izzie took a turn for the worse, and viewers were left with an ambiguous image of Izzie on an elevator in the dress she wore when Denny died. Knight's character, Dr. George O'Malley, who was a John Doe at Seattle Grace, was waiting when the doors the elevator doors opened.
In announcing his departure from the show, Knight said the decision was not easy. “I am extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to play this character," he said in a statement, "and will miss my fellow cast and crew very much."
Tell us: Are you happy Katherine Heigl will be back on Grey's? What will happen to Izzie?Randy Holmes/ABC